More MS news articles for July 2002

New insights into remyelination failure in multiple sclerosis: implications for glial cell transplantation

1 August 2002
Multiple Sclerosis, vol. 8, no. 4,   pp. 271-277(7)
Chari DM[1]; Blakemore WF[1]
[1] Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0EX, UK
This review considers aspects of remyelination that require further clarification if successful strategies are to be devised to enhance remyelination in multiple sclerosis (MS).

We speculate, based on our understanding of the rate with which oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) repopulate OPC-depleted tissue in adult rats, that OPC depletion during the demyelination process could explain why remyelination fails in MS.

We show that loss of OPCs in the context of large areas of demyelination would have serious consequences for remyelination as the rates of colonization of tissue by adult OPCs would lead to a situation where the cellular events associated with demyelination become uncoupled from the interaction of OPCs with demyelinated axons.

Experimental studies indicate that transplanted neonatal OPCs would be able to repopulate large areas of demyelination with much greater efficiency than endogenous OPCs.

This suggests that cell transplantation will have considerable potential to achieve remyelination in situations where the endogenous repair process is failing due to concurrent death of oligodendrocytes and OPCs.

However, we suggest that for this approach to be effective, it will be critical that the environment is permissive for remyelination.

 © 2002 ingenta